“The Medium” presents a brief historical analysis of the emergence of the public television service (RTP) in Cold War era Portugal, setting the scene for subsequent chapters focusing on TV programmes dedicated exclusively to jazz. RTP was established under the motto “Inform, Educate and Entertain”, with music being a prominent component of daily programming. The emergence of the television service was a sign of political change precipitated by the country’s modernisation efforts. It coincided with the New State regime’s establishment of itself in the Cold War era in a new international geopolitical context: it was the beginning of Portugal’s close ties with – and influence from – the US, an alliance based on a shared enemy, namely Soviet communism.